SOS Children has supported children who have lost parents on the Cape Verde islands since the 1980s. Although Cape Verde's economic and social situation has seen steady improvement, women and children's rights are still endangered.
Assomada rests just 64km north of the Cape Verdean capital Praia, on the island of Sao Tiago. Situated on a high plateau surrounded by mountains. The area has a primary, secondary and technical vocational training school, as well as a university, and has recently attracted a great number of migrants from all over the nation who are searching for work.
Women and children in danger
Although the Cape Verdean government ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1992, the UN has still expressed concern about some practices in the region. Corporal punishment is widespread, used in both homes and schools. Minors may suffer sexual abuse, some children suffer from poor labour conditions, and some are completely abandoned by their families and live on the streets.
The treatment of women, traditionally the primary carers for children in the region, has also caused concern. Domestic violence and sexual harassment are widespread and female-headed households, unemployed or uneducated women, and women living in more rural areas often live under the poverty line.
What we do in Assomada
SOS Children began work in Cape Verde in 1984 in Santa Catrina, a neighbourhood of Assomada. Small schools were built in rural areas to bring education to those who lacked it, as well as a primary school in Praia. All of these have since been handed over to local authorities and community leaders so that SOS Children can focus on its goal of supporting vulnerable children and families.
Our community outreach programme in Rincao, not far from Assomada, provides emotional support and advice to families to make sure children receive proper care.
Caring loving home
When children have lost parental care, they can move into our Children's Village and find a loving home. Here they belong to an SOS family, giving them a new home with brothers and sisters from similar situations. All are cared for by an affectionate SOS mother.
These children attend an SOS nursery for their early education, which is also open to other children from the community. One class is taught by the Montessori method, which emphasises independence, respect and the freedom to act within some structural limits. When these children have grown into young adults and teens, the SOS youth programme provides further education, vocational training and preparation for independent living. Qualified educators and counsellors teach these growing adults the skills they need to flourish and ensure the young people's future prospects are bright.
We provide children who have been orphaned and abandoned with a loving family home, education and holistic support. When you become a child sponsor, you help these children to flourish.